Djibouti reinstates commitment to combat discrimination


The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considered on Friday, 11th of August the initial report submitted by Djibouti on the measures taken by that country to give effect to the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Forms of racial discrimination.

Mr Maki Omar Abdoulkader, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Justice, in charge of human rights, reiterated Djibouti’s commitment to ratifying the Convention in 2011 to combat discrimination. He explained that the delay in presenting the report, which was expected in 2012, was due to the workload caused by Djibouti’s recent accession to several human rights instruments.

“This delay does not mean that Djibouti does not protect people from discrimination,” Abdoulkader said. “The country has, since its independence in 1977, established a robust legislative arsenal on the matter,” he stressed and added that, “in 1992, The Constitution reaffirmed in article 1 the obligation of the State to ensure the equality of all citizens before the law without distinction on grounds of origin, race, language or religion, recalled. In Djibouti, discrimination is also a criminal offense.”

According to the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Justice, specific protection measures have been put in place to protect the most vulnerable people such as women, children, persons with disabilities and migrants.

Commenting on the situation, Aboudkader disclosed that there are loads of effort underway to ensure the protection of Human rights. “The country has also strengthened its institutional arsenal for the protection of human rights. Djibouti has also established a mobile justice system to reach the rural population. This mobile justice has also benefited largely the many Somali, Ethiopian and Yemeni refugees who have arrived in the north and south of the country.”

According to attendance listing, this Djibouti delegation was also composed, inter alia, of Ms. Kadra Ahmed Hassan, Permanent Representative of Djibouti to the United Nations in Geneva; Mrs Souad Houssein Farah, Legal Adviser to the President of the Republic; As well as representatives of the Permanent Mission of the country in Geneva.

The delegation responded to questions from members of the Committee, including, inter alia, civil society; The place of the Convention in the hierarchy of standards; The organization of the judicial system and access to justice; Detainees; Of the Family Code; Refugees and asylum-seekers; Trafficking in human beings; Questions of nationality; The National Commission on Human Rights and the Ombudsman of the Republic; Access to social services; Or the lack of disaggregated data.

Recalling that Djibouti was a country of arrival for many refugees fleeing conflicts in neighboring countries in particular, Dah was concerned about the weight of these arrivals on the capacities of reception of the country. It also expressed concern at the slowness of the procedures for processing asylum-seekers’ cases. The rapporteur was also concerned that the port of Obock had turned into a hub of trafficking in human beings, particularly across the Red Sea.

The Committee will subsequently adopt its concluding observations on the Djibouti report at its in camera meetings and make them public at the end of the session, which is due to close on Friday, 26th of August.











Correspondent: Ridwan A Olayiwola


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